Back in 1949, now-legendary blues musician B.B. King narrowly escaped death rescuing his guitar from an Arkansas nightclub fire. That guitar, which he named ‘Lucille,’ would go on to become one of the most famous instruments of all time. So famous, in fact, that Gibson lovingly recreated it as a gift for King’s 80th birthday. Now, that prototype is headed to the auction block.
Inlaid with Mother-of-Pearl and featuring a specialty headstock that reads “B.B. King 80,” this functional piece of art is a fitting tribute to the 15-time Grammy winner and one of the most important guitarists of all time. And it’s one that will look beautiful in the collection of anyone who understands its importance and significance. Along with a collection of B.B. King’s personal effects and accolades — including the National Medal of Arts award he received in 1990, his own personal bible, stage-worn outfits, and various other memorabilia — this guitar will hit the Julien’s auction block on September 21st. And it’s estimated to have a value of $80,000 to $100,000.